There are days when time permits us to have a block of time that is totally open and we are out and about. The perfect setting to go for a walk and God knows that I need more than a walk these days. I guess it is getting time to join a gymnasium, but I think that I shall wait until the cool weather returns. I have changed some of my lifestyle habits, probably not enough of them, and my figure has gone downhill, not that I ever looked like Victor Mature, and that is a name that will make some of the younger readers turn to Google, I probably always looked more like a latter day Marcello Mastroianni, at least once Facebook’s facial recognition software thought so. Any ways, I am wandering again. We had some time to kill between lunch with my Mother-in-Law and dinner with our son and his family.
I suggested that we go to Downtown Birmingham to walk around and I could see how the city has changed. As an old retired merchant, I like to look at how a city evolves, and most cities have become centers of culinary delights at the expense of retailers. Gone, for the most part are independent booksellers, clothiers, women’s wear and shoe stores, unless all you wear are sneakers. I was trying to remember some of the old stores and landmarks from days gone by, and realized that coffee shops and sandwich shops now command some of the premier locations of retailing that I remember. Life goes on and we were walking and talking, which is a pastime that we may not do at home, because of the television and social media. We also went and looked at wallpaper samples, as I guess the foyer needs to be freshened up after some twenty-five years, and I guess that once I get my arse in gear, I really don’t mind painting and wallpapering.
One thing, I have noticed in my years of retail observation is that there is a rise in actual wine shops. Back in the dark ages when I was learning about wine, there were only a handful of wine emporiums, though Michigan is blessed with an abundance of “party stores” or convenience stores, with some that think Thunderbird is an opening price and Barefoot is premium. We ended up at Old Woodward Cellar, a new wine shop, a little off the beaten track, but well worth the endeavor. Of course, I never know what to expect when I take my Bride into a wine shop, though I figure we may add a couple of Cabernet Franc wines to the cellar, but not this trip. While I was just getting acclimated, she had made a bee line, and how, I do not know, but had found her new, latest and greatest label, since our last trip to Las Vegas to see the kids. She had fallen in love with Arrowood Vineyard and Winery Sonoma Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 and she had found a couple of bottles of wine and had already carried them up to the counter, while I was suggesting that she go into the other room where there was some Cain Five on display (wink, wink). Arrowood Vineyards was founded in 1986 by Richard and Alis Arrowood, and has been owned and operated by Jackson Family Wines since 2006. She had found Arrowood Vineyard and Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Knights Valley 2014. The wine is pure Knights Valley Vineyard and is predominately Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot and a touch of Malbec. Fermented in Stainless Steel and then aged for eighteen months, then the wines were blended and barrel aged for an additional six months. The wine was aged for a total of twenty-four months in French Oak, of which forty-eight percent was new. Knowing how great the Sonoma Estates wines were, I am really looking forward to trying these wines as well. We also got a chance to walk another mile back to the car, and this time with the extra convenience of carrying two bottles of wine. Afterall, it is exercise.